Over the past seven years, there has been one player that has consistently been reliable and always giving his all. Whether you think that he is not starting material or not, it is safe to say that Mr. Consistent himself, César Azpilicueta, has not failed to impress again.
He might not be in his prime anymore, but he is still one of the hardest working players at Chelsea. I cannot recall a single bad game in Azpilicueta’s Chelsea career. Sure, there have been a few not up to par performances, but none where I can say for a fact that he didn’t give it his all.
Without going into much detail, Azpilicueta’s season under Frank Lampard can be described into three words: professional, hard-working, impressive.
Even with the arrival of Reece James this season, Azpilicueta was able to retain the spot of Chelsea’s starting right back. The fierce competition from the young Reece James did not belittle him one bit. He kept it professional and showed his worth to Lampard.
Although Azpilicueta started out the season a bit shaky, he significantly improved as the season continued. He fell behind Reece James a couple of times during the season, but kept it professional and earned his spot back. He continued to lead by example. He brought experience and hard work to Chelsea’s young squad on and off the pitch.
Azpilicueta once again proved his versatility to Chelsea’s squad. When needed, he was able to step up to the plate and play as a left-back. Not only that, but playing as the right centre-back when Lampard opted to use three defenders.
Although it is clear that Azpilicueta is not in his prime and his age is starting to show, he had an extremely impressive season under Lampard. With a total of 37 appearances, 4 goals and 3 assists, Azpilicueta has again shown that he is still a vital member of the team.
The best moment that Azpilicueta has produced this season has without a doubt been the 4-4 comeback against Ajax. With a tap in goal in the 63rd minute to bring Chelsea to 2-4 against Ajax, Azpilicueta kickstarted the comeback and brought hope. Not long after his near game-winning goal that would have secured us the victory against Ajax brought everyone off their seats and produced such an exciting moment. Sadly the goal was disallowed by VAR.
Area to Improve
It is clear that Azpilicueta’s age is starting to catch up with him and that he is not once the player he used to be. However, there is not much that we can ask of him to improve physically or technically. But one thing that comes to mind is his role as the captain.
Although Azpilicueta tends to lead by example, his presence on the field as the captain is not seen as much compared to previous Chelsea captains like John Terry. He could be more vocal and demanding on the pitch, but it is hard to know how good he is performing as a captain off the pitch.
Azpilicueta still holds an important role in the squad and will definitely be a key player next season. His hard work-ethic and experience will be vital for Chelsea’s young squad going forward. Even if he might not be a starter anymore in the future, he still holds an important role in the team and will forever be Mr. Consistent.
Edited by: Dan